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Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Good News - 48% of Nevadans Still Strongly Dislike Harry Reid

Rasmussen released its latest polling results in Nevada, showing Harry Reid up 45-43%. The numbers are almost identical to a recent PPP poll; an earlier Mason-Dixon poll showed Reid with a larger lead.

The polls all are consistent in showing that despite the power of incumbency and huge campaign spending, Harry Reid cannot seem to raise his favorability numbers much.

Take a closer look at the Rasmussen numbers, and you will understand that this race is winnable in this year by Sharron Angle.

While unfavorable ratings are even, those who strongly dislike Reid far outnumber those who strongly dislike Angle (emphasis mine):
But 48% of the state’s voters have a Very Unfavorable view of Reid. Forty-one percent (41%) say the same of Angle. Overall, 55% have at least a somewhat unfavorable opinion of Reid and 56% view Angle at least somewhat unfavorably.
Likely voters also self-identify significantly more conservative than liberal:
Forty-five percent (45%) of Nevada’s Likely Voters consider themselves at least somewhat conservative and 24% consider themselves at least somewhat liberal. Those figures include 18% who are Very Conservative and 6% who are Very Liberal.
Yet likely voters view Reid overwhelmingly as liberal, which puts him out of touch ideologically with the electorate:
Sixty-two percent (62%) describe the longtime Democratic senator as a liberal, and 50% characterize his views as extreme. Forty-one percent (41%) put Reid in the mainstream.

Angle, who is seen as a conservative by 81% of the state’s voters, is viewed as holding extreme views by 58%. Thirty-seven percent (37%) see the GOP nominee in the mainstream.

Reid's relentless attacks, supported by a sympathetic mainstream media and active left-wing blogosphere, have increased Angle's negatives.

But, as the paragraph above shows, Reid still is viewed as "extreme" by half the voters. And among independents, slightly more view Reid as "extreme":
Among voters not affiliated with either major party, 55% consider Reid’s views extreme while 52% say the same about Angle.
What these numbers show is what everyone knew. Harry Reid was able to take advantage of a superior campaign machine and deep pockets in the several weeks after the primary, but Reid remains very unpopular.

Would I prefer that Angle were up 2%? Of course.

But to paint a picture of doom and gloom is completely misplaced and plays into one of Reid's main campaign themes of inevitability. I am with Ed Morrissey:
Assuming the Angle campaign gets onto better footing and starts getting its ads on television, this race can still be won.
I particularly like this observation from the otherwise gloomy Jim Geraghty:
One big reason Reid is in trouble is that the agenda he’s working to enact in Washington is the opposite of what Nevadans want.
The Rasmussen poll, coming after the best six weeks Harry Reid ever will have, may mark the high water mark for Reid, unless he can move the 48% of likely voters who still strongly dislike him.

When you have been around for decades so everyone knows you, when you have spent several million dollars attacking your opponent almost unopposed for weeks, and when 48% of likely voters still really don't like you, you are Harry Reid and you are beatable.

Update and Question: Similar analysis from Erick Erickson, Sharron Angle is in a Good Position Against Harry Reid, and Kathryn Jean Lopez, Sharron Angle Is in It.

Now, will the right-blogosphere finally get interested in this race, or will we continue to allow the nutroots (TPM, Greg Sargent, Reid plants, etc.) to pound the keyboards unanswered?

Related Posts:
It Is Not. Over. At all. In Reid v. Angle
The Announcement Of The Death Of Sharron Angle's Campaign Is Premature
Sharron Angle Cannot Win - Just Like Scott Brown

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  1. "Now, will the right-blogosphere finally get interested in this race, or will we continue to allow the nutroots (TPM, Greg Sargent, Reid plants, etc.) to pound the keyboards unanswered?"

    That has been my biggest gripe with Conservative and Republican pols and bloggers. If they/we don't support each other, then we have divided ourselves; and, as Lincoln most famously said, "a house divided against itself shall not stand."

    Get behind the candidates!! Support the Republican and/or Conservative and VOTE THESE DANGEROUS IDEOLOGUES OUT OF OFFICE! Bloggers drive the conversation online. It's time to speak out in support of these candidates!

    Voting Reid and the rest of the leftist statists out must our goal. Dividing ourselves, bickering and squabbling, gives them the victory.

  2. So to some on the right, when the Senior Democrat in the Senate, after lying about his opponent for weeks with unapposed TV ads is up a WHOLE 2 points that is cause for gloom and doom ?

    Again, a couple of weeks of "get to know Sharron" ads and a debate will eliminate the "extremist" bing Reid has tried to hang around her neck. Then he's out of gas ... his agenda will be an anchor that he has to expend all of his energy just to barely keep his head above water ... he will tire and sink below the surface soon enough.

  3. Reid is not up 2 points. The margin of error is +-4%, suggesting a toss up that is too close to call. However, as Professor Jacobson correctly points out, the poll's internals reveal some harsh negatives for Reid.

    That's why Geraghty's column was irresponsible. It needlessly demoralized the base.

    As an amateur strategy watcher, my own feeling is Reid has 100% name recognition in Nevada. The undecideds clearly know who Reid is and yet they don't want to commit to him. Angle should be able to convert the undecides to her side as long as she doesn't make a mounumental gaffe. And she hasn't made any yet.

    In fact, in all three ads I've seen from her campaign, she has kept the focus 100% on Harry Reid...reminding those undecideds why they don't like Reid. I think that is the right strategy. Reid, on the other hand, is trying to force her to defend her positions. If she falls for that trap, she could come out fine, but it also increases the probablilty she will commit an unforced error that she can't recover from. As long as she keeps reminding Nevadans why they don't like Reid, and she doesn't fall for the trap he is trying to lay for her (by making the race about her), I see no reason why she does not steadily improve as more and more undecideds come to her side.

    This race is about Reid, not Angle, and it is far from over.

  4. You may well be right but from a Nevadan I am hearing that Angle better get out and start campaigning. She is not gaining ground and cannot run from her living room and her campaign staff and operation is way behind the curve.

  5. I have a friend who just got back from driving through Nevada. She said "Anybody but Harry Reid" signs were EVERYWHERE.

  6. I live in Reno, and Reid is as popular here as a case of the clap. Most of rural Nevada is the same. But it's Clark County that matters, there are more voters there than the rest of the state combined.